Arkansas Tech University faculty member Dr. Rob Stevens was named 2021-22 ATU outstanding faculty/staff advisor during an awards ceremony hosted by the ATU Division of Student Affairs on Tuesday, April 26.
Stevens joined the ATU faculty in 2017. He is assistant professor of rehabilitation science and faculty advisor for SPECTRUM.
“It means a lot,” said Stevens when asked about the award. “I really care a lot about this group. We need diversity on this campus. Our students are doing a fantastic job of representing SPECTRUM the way it needs to be…in a positive light. It’s the student leaders who are doing that. I’m just a small part of it.”
Through its online presence, SPECTRUM states that it is “devoted to the support and advocacy of the LGBTQIA2+ community on the Arkansas Tech University campus.”
Stevens has served as SPECTRUM advisor for three-and-a-half years.
“There are people who are a little bit different from you, and that’s okay,” said Stevens. “We all need to accept each other for who we are and try to be as non-judgmental as possible. I’m so proud of my students. They do all the work. I’m just here to support them and advocate for them when I need to. We have such a good group of student leaders right now that it makes my job easy.
“So many of these students come here, and they haven’t had a lot of support,” continued Stevens. “We call it our chosen family. SPECTRUM has become its own little chosen family. They are so supportive of each other. If one person is having a hard time, everyone else rallies around them and supports them. It’s wonderful to see that. How else are you going to survive college if you don’t have support?”
A member of Leadership Tech cohort five, Stevens was on the committee that developed the ATU Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence and he serves on the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA) Board of Directors.
Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Ohio University.
“They’ve helped me grow as a person,” said Stevens when asked about SPECTRUM members. “I’m a lot more open about my own personal life. When I first came here, I wasn’t. The students have helped me realize the more we speak out, the more people are willing to learn and accept.”